Kavanagh loses out as BAA Retail halves roster

BAA's retail arm has cut its roster from four to two consultancies, ending a 13-year relationship with Kavanagh Communications.

The airport operator is looking to rebuild confidence in ‘airside' shopping and  promote the fact that most restrictions on carry-on luggage - introduced during the August terror alert - have now been lifted.

The SPA Way is to handle all of BAA Retail's media relations, plus crisis and issues management. Incumbent GCI London is to have an ‘adjusted role', working as a ‘strategic partner for media planning, creative thinking and evaluation'.

The other agencies off  the roster are Publicis Consultants and Neville McCarthy Associates, which have worked with BAA Retail since it last reviewed its agency needs in 2003 (PRWeek, 21 Feb 2003).

BAA Retail PR and comms manager Mark Aldridge said the rethink followed a ‘comprehensive' review involving discussions with a dozen agencies. He said: ‘We will be paying less through this process but it has not been [driven by] a need to reduce costs.'

He added: ‘There is still confusion out there about airport shopping.'

BAA Retail could bring in specialist agencies for future project work. Aldridge said it was possible that Neville McCarthy and Modus-­­Dowal­Walker could be invited to pitch for fashion or beauty projects.

BAA Retail has produced two promotional films to be broadcast on Heathrow Express trains and via Cabvision in taxis.

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